It’s Export Week this week and more and more businesses are looking to overseas markets as a way to boost sales. However, the process can be expensive and time consuming.
The British Chambers of Commerce has these tips for businesses wishing to go global.
1. Research your market
Before jumping straight into exporting, you must research whether your product would be in demand in the country. Also look at if you should adapt your product. Speaking with locals, holding consumer focus groups and looking at how your competition has fared in the market first all helps. It is important to get the price point correct too, or it may fail from the start.
2. Take it one market at a time
It is important not to overstretch yourself and focus on tackling one market at a time. Take time to get to know customs and ways of doing business. This will ensure that all your efforts are focused, increasing your chances of success. Once you have entered a market successfully, then you can expand within that region.
3. Look into the paperwork
It is just as important to understand the different export document demands for the countries you are exporting to. The requirements are often above and beyond the standard requirements and knowing this in advance will make sure you are fully prepared and protected.
4. Partnering up
When starting, it may be easier to look for a partner who understands the market. You can use a sales agent or a distributor to sell your products on your behalf, easing your way gently into exporting to new markets. Once successful you are then in a better position to think about setting up a local subsidiary.
5. Transportation methods
Think carefully about the transportation of your goods. It is important that your goods are insured and that you consider the infrastructure in the country you are exporting to. Taking this into consideration will make planning timings easier.
6. Build relationships
When exporting to a new market, relationships are vital to your success. Connect regularly with your customers and agents to get feedback from those on the ground, this allows you to have a local presence in the market(s) you export to.
7. Tailor your marketing
There are different rules around marketing and advertising in different countries. Researching this in advance will ensure you don’t waste time on a marketing promotion that won’t work in the country you’re exporting to.